154-minute debate on Budget in Low attendance 8th sitting

ISLAMABAD, June 12, 2010: National Assembly continued debating the budgetary proposals in Eighth sitting of the 23rd session, which was marked by low attendance of legislators. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 40 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the Eighth Sitting of the 23rd Session of the National Assembly proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 02 hour and 48 minutes.
  • The eighth sitting started at 1112 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1100 hours. The House proceedings started late by 12 minutes.
  • The Speaker was not present during the sitting. The sitting was initially chaired by Mr. Abdul Qadir Patel (Panel of Chairpersons) for 39 minutes, while the remaining 129 minutes were chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 40 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
  • Parliamentary leader of only PMLF was present while the leaders of PML, PPPS, MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP, and BNPA were absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML and MMAP were present, while those of MQM, PPPS, MMAP, ANP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • 05 Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting
  • A total of 47 (14%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 45(13%) at the end of the sitting.
  • A total of 6 minority members were present during the eighth sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • As many as 9 legislators spoke on the budgetary proposals presented in the third sitting.
  • Three members of PPPP spoke on the budget for a total of 39 minutes. Similar number of PMLN members took 68 minutes to speak on the budget proposals. Two PML Members took 34 minutes while one MQM member took 15 minutes to speak on the budget.
  • The Minister for Finance and Revenue was present for 40 minutes during the course of the sitting.


  • The House debated the Finance Bill, 2010 presented in the third sitting.

Order and institutionalization

  • 01 Points of Order was raised, taking up 05 minutes of the House proceedings.
  • There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
  • There was no instance of walkout or boycott during the sitting


  • Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.

The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN